About Prayers & Violence

prayers


Greetings, my sisters, brothers, & others —
While most of the articles which most of you know me for have been centered around the Sanders campaign & closely related subjects, my soul compels me to write to you about something else, today. In these last weeks, our country seems to be in danger of coming apart, though many seem to be doing their best to ignore or remain aloof from the ubiquitous conflicts which are so well-known & numerous that I hardly need to introduce them.

There are some conflicts, however, in which it is impossible to be un-involved — as a wise man once said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” This is why I believe that all of us need to say loudly & unequivocally that —

Black Lives Matter

Period. The sky is blue, a chair was made for sitting, & black lives matter — none of these statements should be controversial and the fact that one of them is should be enough proof for any person of conscience that there is something deeply wrong with our society. Today, as I began to write this, I learned that some police officers were killed in Baton Rouge &, before any details have even emerged, the knee-jerk reaction of many seems to be to blame Black Lives Matter protesters & to offer their “thoughts & prayers” to the families of those affected by the killings.

I will do neither & I’d like to explain why.

Why I Will Not Offer My Prayers

On the front page of this website, I mention that I’d studied eastern philosophy in college and, during that time, I was fortunate to meet teachers & clergy-people from many different religious traditions, all of whom I did my best to learn from. One such teacher was a Shaykh who helped me to understand a lot about prayer and, among many other things, I was taught not to pray for things that I could do easily for myselfI was told, “God is not your servant — you are meant to be God’s servant!”

I understand that all of us hold our own beliefs, so please feel free to translate that into whatever terminology works best for you. Anyway, don’t get caught on the words — my point is that it’s ridiculous for me to offer my “prayers” without offering my hand. And it’s especially & inexcusably ridiculous for most of these politicians to “pray” for things to get better — they are the same politicians who possess the political power to change the conditions that have gestated the violence they now “pray” to end.

This brings us to the other issue that I want to address, today.

Who bears responsibility
for the violence?

In the wake of rioting that occurred in 1967 & shortly before his murder, Martin Luther King, Jr. quoted Victor Hugo, who said:

If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.

Though King was addressing a different moment in history, the point that he was making still resounds, perhaps even more loudly because so little has changed, since then. Black Lives Matter activists are telling our country that black communities are being terrorized by police officers who are almost never held accountable for the appallingly frequent killings of people of color. The recent murders of Philando Castile & Alton Sterling are not exceptionally appalling examples of these killings — they are merely the most recent examples of the violence that our country has normalized.

I don’t know what happened in Baton Rouge, earlier — I only know that it’s not the fault of the Black Lives Matter movement. Neither was Dallas, while we’re on the subject. Black Lives Matter is an example of what’s right with the world — those are people that are trying to do something to make the world a better, safer place. Don’t blame protesters. If you’re looking for someone to blame, blame the politicians who have done nothing to improve the conditions of the oppressed — blame the broken criminal justice system, blame the policies which throw people of color under the bus, & — if you’re remaining silent about all of this — blame yourselves

All of us should be standing up with those who are saying, “Black lives matter,” because they do. If you can’t even admit that much — Well, look no further: that’s the source of violence.

That’s all I have to say, tonight.

In solidarity,
John Laurits #SeeYouInPhilly
[twitter-follow screen_name=’@JohnLaurits’]

P.S. I’d like to note that in no way do I speak for BLM — the writing above is only my own thoughts & feelings, which arose in response to what I saw in my feed today, July 17th. 

Other Recent Articles by John Laurits 
A Letter to #OurRevolution About Strategy (7/14) New!
To: Democrats, RE: #IdRatherBern
 (7/12) New!
Mathematical Proof That You Are Not Alone
 (7/10) 
To: Bernie — From: #NotMeUs
(7/8)  ⇐Please, keep SHARING this one w/ #MakeBernieSeeThis
Once
More Unto the Breach — #DemocracyOrBust! (7/7) 
The Delegate Math + An Urgent Call to Action!
 (7/5) 
New, from the People’s Math Front: The News-REAL
(7/4)
#ShowMeTheBallots or No Unity!
 (7/3) 
Let’s Talk About Voter-Suppression (w/ math!)
(6/26)

Why I Am #BernieOrBust (& why you should be, too) (6/23)
“How We #BernTheConvention, w/ Updated Math” (6/22)
“No Democracy, No Unity” (6/20)

“What is ‘Democracy?'” (6/14)
“What is #ExitPollGate?” (6/11)

 


*You can follow John on Twitter @JohnLaurits. And, if ye’d like, you can also help out by buying John coffee HERE, which he is always very grateful for.

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